The World ARC 2018-19 fleet has arrived Fiji! Special clearances were arranged by the World Cruising Club for the fleet to clear into the remote island of Vanua Balavu in the Lau Group.Officials from customs, immigration, biosecurity and quarantine flew in from the mainland especially for the World ARC fleet - which is a big bonus!
Typically, yachts clear into Fiji by way of official ports of entry in Suva or Savusavu. In order to cruise the Lau Group they then must sail against the southeast trade winds, which can be a difficult sail back.
Vanua Balavu is a long and winding island with uplifted coral in the north and volcanic landforms in the south -and beautiful bays all around. On the northern end is the celebrated and much photographed Bay of Islands, also know as Qilaqila.
Lomaloma, located in the southeast coast, is the island’s largest village and where the World ARC fleet first stepped ashore in Fiji.
When visiting traditional villages, it is customary to bring a sevusevu (gift) to the chief. The participants were able to join in this ceremony in Lomaloma as Kava root was presented. The 57 isles of Lau are subdivided into northern and southern Lau, and are regarded as one of the finest cruising destinations in the world. Participants soon learned that they would find absolutely no tourism, only curious, warm, welcoming locals in the villages that are filled with tradition.
Vinaka to all who have made the fleet feel so welcomed already in Fiji. Yachts are now exploring spectacular snorkelling sites, hiking lush mountains and soaking up the Fijian way of life.